Success in FCC Airwaves Auction

Sep 17, 2020 | Blog, News

Success in FCC Airwaves Auction

Nextlink Internet’s Success in FCC Airwaves Auction Will Enable Expansion of High-Speed Broadband and Voice Services in 11 States across Rural USA

HUDSON OAKS, Texas – Nextlink Internet was one of the top investors in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) recent auction of “CBRS” airwaves licenses, which will enable the company to more effectively deliver high-speed broadband and voice services to more subscribers in small towns and rural areas of 11 U.S. states: Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.

The FCC announced the Citizen’s Band Radio Service (CBRS) auction results on September 2, and a legal “quiet period” expired on September 17.

AMG Technology Investment Group, LLC, which does business as Nextlink Internet, invested $28.4 million to win a total of 1,072 Priority Access Licenses (PALs) covering 491 counties in 11 states. AMG was ranked third in the number of licenses won; third in the number of markets covered; and ninth in invested capital.

With access to these licensed airwaves, the company will be able to reach over 14 million people across rural America.

“Nextlink Internet is striving to become the top internet service provider in small towns and rural markets across the Central USA, and the licenses we’ve just won will enable us to reach more customers with advanced, interference-free broadband services,” said Bill Baker, CEO of Nextlink Internet.

Following a regulatory process that lasted more than five years, the FCC recently opened access to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum band (CBRS, 3550-3700 MHz), a previously under-utilized swath of airwaves that are well-suited for delivering high-speed internet services via fixed-wireless network technology.

Ted Osborn, Nextlink Internet’s SVP of Strategy & Regulatory Affairs, applauded the FCC for the ground-breaking approach it took in the CBRS matter, which resulted in a record number of diverse auction bidders, many of them serving small communities like Nextlink. “This is truly the ’Innovation Band,’ and we look forward to fulfilling the commissions’ goal of expanding internet access in under-served areas,” Osborn said.

Nextlink is already working with two major players in the tech and telecom industry to expand and upgrade its networks using the CBRS airwaves. Google is providing both its Spectrum Access System (SAS) to deliver maximum spectrum availability, and its browser-based Network Planner, to increase the efficiency of network operations; and Nokia is providing advanced Long-Term Evolution (LTE) hardware solutions.

Preston Marshall, Engineering Director at Google and Chairman of the CBRS Alliance, said, “Google has supported CBRS and spectrum sharing alongside other industry leaders for years, and we’re delighted to work with Nextlink, an innovative and capable operator, as they put CBRS spectrum to use across America’s heartland.”

John Harrington, SVP, U.S. Major Accounts at Nokia, said, “In addition to making the right technology choices, the right spectrum strategy is critical for service providers to deliver high-speed internet to underserved communities. Nextlink has put the right pieces in place, and we applaud its commitment to expanding its footprint with CBRS. Our partnership with Nextlink and our expertise in deploying LTE-based solutions in shared spectrum will give more people and businesses access to telehealth, remote learning, expanded sales presence, and more.”

Nextlink Internet is a rural-focused provider of high-speed broadband and voice services to more than 50,000 residential, business, institutional and governmental customers in Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. As an active participant in the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II), Nextlink is working to connect an additional 100,000 homes and businesses in small communities and rural areas across those six states.

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